iShares ETFs provide access to a wide range of asset classes and markets, making them useful building blocks within investment portfolios. Just like individual shares, they can be bought and sold on exchange. Therefore, just like any investment, it is good to be familiar with when and how to best place an order.


Timing matters
Timing matters
Consider avoiding trading near the market open or close (including auctions), and for Asian exposures, please remember to look at the underlying market(s) opening hours.
Seek price protection
Seek price protection
Especially during times of volatility: consider a limit order, which gives you more control over price and ensures your execution is at a price you are comfortable with.



  • ETFs can be purchased and sold anytime during exchange trading hours.
  • Markets can be more volatile near open and close. Consider trading after the first, and before the last, 15 minutes of the day. There is also less market making activity during open and close, which can result in wider spreads.
  • Consider the underlying exposure. For ETFs with exposure to Asian markets, which can overlap with the Australian trading day, if possible, consider trading when the underlying exchanges are open, as the value of the ETF will be easier to calculate and the bid/offer spread tighter.

Order Type:

Just like trading individual stocks, make sure that your order type is consistent with your goals:

1. Limit order

The order is executed only at the price specified, or better. This avoids an unexpected outcome at times of higher market volatility or potential wider spreads.

2. Market order

The order executes as soon as possible at the best price available at the time. However, all or part of the trade is at risk of being traded at a value different from the last trades price especially in times of market volatility or lower liquidity.

Due to the execution price risk, limit orders are generally considered to be best practice in most circumstances.


Liquidity is always an important consideration when selecting any investment. The more liquid an investment, the easier and more cost effective it will be to trade. On the other hand, poor liquidity can translate into difficulties in entering and exiting positions, as well as higher trading costs.

ETFs can be bought and sold during the trading day. When evaluating ETF liquidity, it is important to remember that ETFs differ from ordinary shares in one distinct way – ETFs are open-ended investment vehicles. This means that, like managed funds, the number of shares can actually increase and reduce depending on investor demand.

Although ETFs trade like shares, the liquidity of an ETF works very differently to the liquidity of a share. With an ordinary share, trading reflects the buyers and sellers interacting on an exchange at a price the represents the economic value of a company and natural investor supply and demand. The trading of the ETF also depends on the natural investor supply and demand of the product on the exchange, but this only partially accounts for the liquidity of an ETF (on-screen liquidity). There are in fact multiple layers that make up the entire liquidity of an ETF:

ETF Liquidity

ETF Liquidity

Using simple illustrations and a metaphor about flowers, this video will help you understand ETF Liquidity and the creation and redemption process that lets ETFs trade even when volume is low.


An estimated ETF price is published during the trading day for iShares Australian fixed income (IAF, IGB, ILB) and Australian Equity (IOZ, ILC, ISO).

This estimated price provides a reference point for the current fund value and can be viewed on the ETF product page.


Market makers regularly provide two-sided (buy and sell) quotes to clients on the exchange.

With transparent ETFs, the ability to exchange the ETFs for either cash or the underlying assets provides economic incentives for market makers to trade when the price deviates from the value of the underlying assets. This self-policing mechanism ensures the exchange price does not materially deviate from the values of the fund’s assets. Any drifting in the price of an ETF away from the current value of the ETF’s portfolio of securities will economically incentivise market makers due to the fact that profit can be made by selling the higher-priced asset while simultaneously buying the lower-priced asset. We term this the “ETF arbitrage mechanism”.


iShares ETFs are available on the following online trading platforms. Please click a logo to visit their website.

nabtrade BellDirect IG Trading Platform CommSec

A broker is a professional who buys and sells securities such as ETFs on a stock exchange on behalf of clients. You can buy iShares ETFs through a broker during daily trading hours. Please note that brokerage and other fees may apply.

The ASX has a tool to help you locate a stockbroker which you can access here.


ETFs can be bought and sold via investment platforms. The trade is executed on a stock exchange by the platform provider.

For more information on the ETF coverage and process by your investment platform please contact your relation manager


Our Dedicated ETF Global Markets Team is available to provide trading support and answer your queries.

Number: +61 (0)2 9272 2345